Cork tiles and paper bark - is it safe?
Planted Tank Forums
Your Tanks Image Hosting *Tank Tracker * Plant Profiles Fish Profiles Planted Tank Guide Photo Gallery Articles

Go Back   The Planted Tank Forum > General Planted Tank Forums > General Planted Tank Discussion > Riparium/Terrarium/Vivarium


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 10-28-2012, 06:14 AM   #1
Aussie!
Algae Grower
 
Aussie!'s Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: QLD, australia
Posts: 25
Default

Cork tiles and paper bark - is it safe?


So, I'm attempting my first paludarium (It's a 40L blue planet tank) and I have some questions about the background. I wanted to have a cork bark background but after searching I have come up short. Can't find it anywhere local.
I have bought some cork tiles. The packaging says they are natural and unsealed. Do these sound safe? Click image for larger version

Name:	ImageUploadedByTapatalk1351404682.521118.jpg
Views:	81
Size:	76.8 KB
ID:	56051
I've been racking my brain trying to come up with a way to make them look more natural and happened to look out my window and see my whole street is lined with paper bark trees. Can anyone think of a good reason why lining the cork tiles with the bark wouldn't work? Had anyone tried this?
Thanks.
Aussie! is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 10-28-2012, 12:32 PM   #2
BBradbury
Wannabe Guru
 
BBradbury's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Greeley, CO
Posts: 1,426
Default Tank Decor

Hello Auss...

Anything I've wanted to put into my tanks, I test first with vinegar. I just put a few drops on the piece an if there's a reaction, then I don't use it.

This test should work for your items. Something to think about: "everything eventually dissolves in water".

B
__________________
"Fear not my child, just change the tank water."
BBradbury is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2012, 01:01 PM   #3
EdwardN
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
EdwardN's Avatar
 
PTrader: (25/96%)
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Deltona, Florida
Posts: 518
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aussie! View Post
So, I'm attempting my first paludarium (It's a 40L blue planet tank) and I have some questions about the background. I wanted to have a cork bark background but after searching I have come up short. Can't find it anywhere local.
I have bought some cork tiles. The packaging says they are natural and unsealed. Do these sound safe? Attachment 56051
I've been racking my brain trying to come up with a way to make them look more natural and happened to look out my window and see my whole street is lined with paper bark trees. Can anyone think of a good reason why lining the cork tiles with the bark wouldn't work? Had anyone tried this?
Thanks.
Try natural cork tile from:
http://www.zoomed.com/db/products/En...O3M6MToiMCI7fQ==
EdwardN is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2012, 08:50 PM   #4
Aussie!
Algae Grower
 
Aussie!'s Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: QLD, australia
Posts: 25
Default

Thanks. You don't happen to know an Australian supplier by any chance?
Aussie! is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-2012, 06:38 AM   #5
Aussie!
Algae Grower
 
Aussie!'s Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: QLD, australia
Posts: 25
Default

I decided to use coco fiber instead. Got a big bag for only a few dollars.
Aussie! is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-2012, 08:43 PM   #6
lochaber
Planted Tank Guru
 
lochaber's Avatar
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Oakland, CA
Posts: 2,091
Default

I wouldn't use those cork tiles - they are made of cork bark that is chipped up, and then reformed and glued together (something akin to the cork equivalent of particleboard). Unless you know what the adhesive is, and know it's safe, I would avoid it.

What you want to look for is 'virgin cork bark' - it comes from the first time they harvest cork bark of of a cork oak, and has the typical 'bark' look with a very rough, crevasse filled surface (I may be wrong here, someone correct me if so). Several places online sell it, sometimes you can find it in pet stores, especially if they have a lot of herps.

Another place to look would be places that sell orchids and epiphytic plants, as they use them to mount their plants on.

Finding a source online would probably be your cheapest option, but also you wouldn't really be able to see what you are getting.

Another thing I've used in the past is tree fern fiber slabs, works fairly well, not as pretty as corkbark when naked, but can support plants/mosses fairly well.

As to vinegar, that's more to test for carbonate on rocks, it's just an acid reacting and releasing CO2 (the fizzing). and vinegar by itself is iffy, it's better to use a strong acid. Also, all that will tell you is whether or not the rock is likely to affect pH and water hardness.
lochaber is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-2012, 10:32 PM   #7
Aussie!
Algae Grower
 
Aussie!'s Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: QLD, australia
Posts: 25
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by lochaber View Post
I wouldn't use those cork tiles - they are made of cork bark that is chipped up, and then reformed and glued together (something akin to the cork equivalent of particleboard). Unless you know what the adhesive is, and know it's safe, I would avoid it.

What you want to look for is 'virgin cork bark' - it comes from the first time they harvest cork bark of of a cork oak, and has the typical 'bark' look with a very rough, crevasse filled surface (I may be wrong here, someone correct me if so). Several places online sell it, sometimes you can find it in pet stores, especially if they have a lot of herps.

Another place to look would be places that sell orchids and epiphytic plants, as they use them to mount their plants on.

Finding a source online would probably be your cheapest option, but also you wouldn't really be able to see what you are getting.

Another thing I've used in the past is tree fern fiber slabs, works fairly well, not as pretty as corkbark when naked, but can support plants/mosses fairly well.

As to vinegar, that's more to test for carbonate on rocks, it's just an acid reacting and releasing CO2 (the fizzing). and vinegar by itself is iffy, it's better to use a strong acid. Also, all that will tell you is whether or not the rock is likely to affect pH and water hardness.
Thanks lochaber.
I returned the tiles because I didn't trust them. Thanks for the suggestions. I tried 5 different places in town and none had the cork bark. They said my best bet was getting it in from Brisbane. (1.5-2 hours away.) Somehow I don't see that happening. I can't find anywhere to purchase online but that might have something to do with my googling skills :/.
I managed to find some coco fiber and I've got some safe black silicone so I'm thinking of carving styrofoam background, covered in silicone then coco fiber. I am worried about the waterfall section though. If I have water running constantly over the coco fiber will it wear off quickly?

(I knew about the vinegar. Thanks)
Aussie! is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-2012, 12:23 AM   #8
lochaber
Planted Tank Guru
 
lochaber's Avatar
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Oakland, CA
Posts: 2,091
Default

I've done stryofoam covered in an epoxy/sand mix, and thought it came out pretty well.

probably works better for underwater sections, since the epoxy will give it a glossy/wet look.
For the above water sections (or for a more natural texture), sprinkle a bunch of dry sand on top, and then rush/wash/vacuum that off once it's cured.
I haven't done this myself, but I've heard people say that chinchilla dust works really well for removing the gloss from epoxy mixes.

Epoxy is generally safe, and it's pretty durable.

Another possibility would be to use some lava rock or something similar for the waterfall section, just silicone them in. Lava rock is great for aquatic mosses and stuff to creep out of the water on, as long as they remain damp.
lochaber is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-2012, 11:14 PM   #9
Aussie!
Algae Grower
 
Aussie!'s Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: QLD, australia
Posts: 25
Default

Alright. Thanks again
Aussie! is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 12:42 PM.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright Planted Tank LLC 2012